×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Snowden Docs: Brits Hacked Accounts of Belgian IT Admins

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the what's-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-gander dept.

United Kingdom 126

An anonymous reader writes "British secret service GCHQ is willing to penetrate the networks of telecoms firms to subsequently use them for spying. German magazine DER SPIEGEL reports GCHQ hacked the machines of Belcacom staff to later use their GRX routers for targeted man-in-the-middle-attacks on people's phones. Belgacom is the biggest telecom in Belgium, and is partly state-owned. DER SPIEGEL publishes three original slides from a GCHQ presentation. They specifically mention targeting 'engineers/systems administrators.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

126 comments

All this for waffles? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902557)

" It appears to be a method with which the person being targeted, without their knowledge, is redirected to websites that then plant malware on their computers that can then manipulate them. "

How is this super-sophisticated exactly, it sounds like every other redirection-malware attack with the exception of a targeted individual.

All this for waffles. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902583)

When do the Belgian bombs start falling?

Re:All this for waffles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902911)

They dont. Belgians arent bullies who try to intimidate everyone.

Re:All this for waffles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903123)

They dont. Belgians arent bullies who try to intimidate everyone.

Yeah, well except that minor unpleasantness in the late 19th century where their King was responsible for the murder and genocide of between 2 and 15 million people in the Congo. [wikipedia.org]

One has to wonder if the "boring Belgians" stereotype was encouraged by the Belgians themselves, since it's probably preferable to being associated with a King who seems- by all accounts- to have been the forerunner of Adolph Hitler. Or maybe it just didn't count as much back then (and now?) when it was Africans being killed in that manner.

Re:All this for waffles. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903321)

They dont. Belgians arent bullies who try to intimidate everyone.

Yeah, well except that minor unpleasantness in the late 19th century where their King was responsible for the murder and genocide of between 2 and 15 million people in the Congo. [wikipedia.org]

One has to wonder if the "boring Belgians" stereotype was encouraged by the Belgians themselves, since it's probably preferable to being associated with a King who seems- by all accounts- to have been the forerunner of Adolph Hitler. Or maybe it just didn't count as much back then (and now?) when it was Africans being killed in that manner.

Don't go throwing the first rock if you don't want it thrown back at you :

American indian genocide + slavery up until the 1960's is something to be proud of ?
British inventing the "concentration camp" and carrying out wars of conquest/genocide all over the world is something to be proud of ?
French colonialism is not something to be proud of.
Even the Germans have dirty hands.
And the Cinese, and the Japanese and Russians and Turks and the Spanish and Portuguese and the Italians and the Austrians.
You want redress in this world ? Get the southern hemisphere to wipe out the entire northern hemisphere where all of these countries are.

Re:All this for waffles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903797)

Two wrongs don't make a right, and I was addressing the OP who stated that "Belgians arent bullies who try to intimidate everyone". Which is transparently wrong in a historical sense.

Also- yes, the British widely used the *phrase* "concentration camp" as something of a euphemism during the Boer War. But I don't think they invented the term, and they certainly didn't invent the concept from scratch. And whatever the rights and wrongs of such camps, they were never in the same league of wrongdoing as the Nazis' forced labour and extermination "concentration camps" with which the term became synonymous decades later.

By invoking the term in this (genocidal) context, you clearly associate it with its modern (Nazi-fied) meaning and its horrors, but it was the Nazis who were responsible for that- not the British. Yes, they've done some pretty disgusting things in their time, but they're not responsible for that.

And none of it exonerates the Belgians.

Re:All this for waffles. (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 7 months ago | (#44906211)

He's right - Belgians aren't bullies. They were bullies, but then as he pointed out, nearly every developed country has been a bully at some stage in the past, and some still are.

Re:All this for waffles. (1)

Stoutlimb (143245) | about 7 months ago | (#44904955)

You had me until your last line. You actually believe that people in the southern hemisphere are somehow morally superior?

Re:All this for waffles. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903793)

They dont. Belgians arent bullies who try to intimidate everyone.

Yeah, well except that minor unpleasantness in the late 19th century where their King was responsible for the murder and genocide of between 2 and 15 million people in the Congo. [wikipedia.org]

The Royal House of Belgium was imposed on the Belgians by the English and the Germans, who were affraid of too much French influence in the country.

Leopold I van Saxen-Coburg was born in Coburg (Bavaria, Germany), he was the uncle of Queen Victoria (who was also part of the Saxe-Coburg family, they changed their name into Windsor to sound less German).

Congo was the _personal property_ of his son, Leopold II. After the outrage on how he treated the Africans, he "donated" it to the Belgian state as a colony. As a Belgian colony, Congo was not worse of than any other colony at the time (which is bad enough).

a King who seems- by all accounts- to have been the forerunner of Adolph Hitler

Leopold II did not want to exterminate the Africans (unlike Hitler who wanted to exterminate all Jews, Gypsies, gays and the mentally ill); he just wanted to make as much profit as possible. His way to make profit was cruel; but as much as I (an anonymous Belgian) hate him, comparing him to Hitler is trivializing the holocaust.

Re:All this for waffles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44904299)

Comparing [Leopold II] to Hitler is trivializing the holocaust.

On the contrary; while I don't intend getting into a "most evil" argument (*), the fact that you think even vaguely implying a comparison between the two (despite the deaths of between 2 and 15 million people- even if that was for reasons of personal greed rather the hatred) could somehow "trivialize" the holocaust- as if the former were not even remotely as important- ironically trivializes *that*.

(*) This would probably end up trivializing both, distracting and polarizing people away from the true issues. Yes, I would say that the "holocaust" *was* worse for the reasons you gave; but this should not be used to trivialize Leopold's conduct in the Congo either.

Re:All this for waffles. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 7 months ago | (#44904441)

The Royal House of Belgium was imposed on the Belgians by the English and the Germans, who were affraid of too much French influence in the country.

Leopold I van Saxen-Coburg was born in Coburg (Bavaria, Germany), he was the uncle of Queen Victoria (who was also part of the Saxe-Coburg family, they changed their name into Windsor to sound less German).

Congo was the _personal property_ of his son, Leopold II. After the outrage on how he treated the Africans, he "donated" it to the Belgian state as a colony. As a Belgian colony, Congo was not worse of than any other colony at the time (which is bad enough).

a King who seems- by all accounts- to have been the forerunner of Adolph Hitler

Leopold II did not want to exterminate the Africans (unlike Hitler who wanted to exterminate all Jews, Gypsies, gays and the mentally ill); he just wanted to make as much profit as possible. His way to make profit was cruel; but as much as I (an anonymous Belgian) hate him, comparing him to Hitler is trivializing the holocaust.

Just a reminder that another one of the colonies was Rwanda -- the situation there shows that Leopold II did not want to exterminate Africans, but he DID take a nation and separate the people there into two "races" based on looks and set up a "genetic" breeding program. Those Rwandans with European-looking features were allowed to marry each other and hold positions of power; those without European-looking features (darker skin, flatter nose, lower cheekbones, more protruding forehead) were excluded from this society and were pretty much only allowed to work as grunt labourers. And so we got the Tutsis and Hutus, and the bloody carnage the country is still recovering from.

Re:All this for waffles. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903111)

The bombs in Belgium are under American control [wikipedia.org].

Hey, we're allies! Please treat us as such.

So we've learned... (0)

TWX (665546) | about 7 months ago | (#44902591)

...that all governments spy on all other governments, regardless of the state of cordiality between those nations.

Didn't we already know this?

Re:So we've learned... (5, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 7 months ago | (#44902617)

1. This is not a government spying on another government.
2. Economic espionage is illegal
3. Breaching trust like this will lead to all sorts of blowback when partners find out, it's hardly a good idea.

GCHQ has strayed well over the line from protecting British interests against our enemies to economic and political espionage. This op was probably ordered at the behest of some American service anyway (to whom GCHQ are in hoc to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars), who knows why or who it benefits, but it certainly isn't the people of the UK.

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902635)

Another reason to kick the roast beefs out of the EU.
Go join your ancient colony.

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44906711)

Canada?

Re:So we've learned... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 7 months ago | (#44902637)

As far as I've been able to tell, most espionage of a materiel type requires spying on companies, as it's those companies that are the true producers of materiel, not governments themselves.

Re:So we've learned... (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#44905367)

As far as I've been able to tell, most espionage of a materiel type requires spying on companies, as it's those companies that are the true producers of materiel, not governments themselves.

True. And if you were investing a weapons manufacturer in Syria nobody would blink. But Belgium is an ally.

This is like breaking into your friends house without provocation, you know, just in case... uh... something... something... terrorism.

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44906555)

This is like breaking into your friends house without provocation, you know, just in case.

Except your friend happens to run a world wide telecom service that is used by many of the people you feel are terrorists.

I'm not saying what they did was right, but I can see the logic. Hack hundreds of "terrorist" phones or hack the telecom? I know what sounds easier.

Re:So we've learned... (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 7 months ago | (#44902875)

in hoc to

Off-topic pedantry: the expression's in hock to, originating from a Dutch word for a kennel or lock-up or prison, informally used to describe someone in debt. Not related to Latin hoc, meaning "this", and common in phrases like post hoc ergo propter hoc ("after this, therefore because of this"), ad hoc ("for this [occasion]"), etc.

No, no -- read the slide! (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about 7 months ago | (#44904475)

in hoc to

Off-topic pedantry: the expression's in hock to...

No, no, it's not in hock, although that does rhyme -- read the slide! [spiegel.de] It says MyNOC .

It makes perfect sense. Chewing on the cables.

Cheers,

Re:So we've learned... (3, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 7 months ago | (#44903033)

There's no such thing as illegal to a government.

Sir Arthur Bonsall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903393)

It was 2010, so Sir Arthur Bonsall was the director of GCHQ at the time.
The crime he committed, is Belgiums anti hacking law. There is no immunity for GCHQ in Belgium, he is just a criminal like any other.
Presumably the GCHQ/NSA PR machine and astroturf will be out and about telling us it was all for Belgium's interests... just like it hacked into Brazil Petroleum and claimed it was 'to detect economic instability...' what claptrap. It was just more spying.

The European arrest warrant means Belgium should be able to force Britain to hand him over for trial. CIA nearly lost their chief to Italy, who prosecuted for illegal rendition. Instead of defending himself, he just ignored it, and hoped his political masters would protect him. They didn't. So Bonsall is expendable, and easy to arrest in mainland Europe. He will cross European airspace sooner of later.

I assume Cameron and William Hague will offer him their full support, (i.e. a sacrificial lamb).

Re:Sir Arthur Bonsall (1)

alberto_moro (3140643) | about 7 months ago | (#44905797)

Change your weed. The current one makes you delusional. He will get a "legion of honor" or something from the Belgian King. Belgium is an Anglosaxon Bitch like everyone else in the "west".

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903903)

Yes dear sir/lady. And the opposite face of the coin is true, when they don't like something they don't wait too much to make it illegal.

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903969)

http://www.gchq.gov.uk/AboutUs/Pages/Accountability-and-the-Law.aspx

Apparently there is, I just think they believe because they have the jobs that they have, they are not human and therefore exempt.

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44904171)

What!? Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain?

Re:So we've learned... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903069)

who knows why or who it benefits, but it certainly isn't the people of the UK.

Is that your evaluation based on many years of experience with the intelligence agencies? Or is it the snark of a passing minute on the internet?

NSA helped foil terror plot in Belgium, documents, officials say [cnn.com]
Police arrest 10 over Belgian 'Islamist terror plot' [bbc.co.uk]
Belgian police raid homes in connection with Syrian terror groups recruits [rt.com]
Two Belgian "terrorism" suspects detained in Yemen [reuters.com]
Fearing terror attack, Belgium arrests 14 [latimes.com]

Re:So we've learned... (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 7 months ago | (#44903871)

A couple of problems here. Firstly a lot of those stories refer to an event in 2008, and Der Spiegel claims GCHQ only got access to Belgacom in 2010. So their spying cannot have been relevant there.

Secondly, the evidence in those cases was the sort of thing that can be obtained using ordinary court orders or ordinary, limited and carefully controlled wiretaps. The people targeted went to the Afghan-Pakistani border for months and according to one article, some of them were already known criminals in Belgium even before then. Getting a tight, time limited court order for surveillance of these people within Belgium is easily possible - at no point would Britain hacking Belgium have been helpful in such a prosecution and indeed, would have been dangerous - if the evidence was obtained without a warrant and defence counsel found out, the case might have collapsed.

I strongly dislike this notion that the acts Snowden uncovered are all OK because occasionally, the authorities do manage to catch terrorists. Guess what? They also catch random serial killers, fraudsters, drunk drivers who do hit and runs, all kinds of other criminals .... just using the ordinary tools and strict supervision they are supposed to operate under. Where's the evidence that tightly specified, time limited court orders issued by open courts are insufficient? Can you point me to just one case of a terrorist who successfully blew himself up because a judge mistakenly denied a reasonable warrant request? I've not heard of such a thing, even though occasional mistakes would be expected and not by itself sufficient to conclude what the NSA/GCHQ does is necessary.

So is political espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903137)

They got hold of Belgacoms routers, which route smartphone data for it's users, which lets them intercept the smartphones connected to belgacom's network, including all the roaming. Including Brits in Belgium.

Belgacom's users being people like the EU Parliament, EU Commission, visiting politicians who roam through Belgacom. Including British politicians, journalists, etc. SWIFT, and other international organizations are based in Belgium.

European arrest warrant should be issued as soon as they find out who was involved, and for the head of GCHQ for ordering it, and the UK police should not side with the MET/GCHQ. This is a crime, clear and simply. A major crime at that, it is not legal in the UK to hack computer systems.

Re:So we've learned... (1)

bdwebb (985489) | about 7 months ago | (#44906273)

This op was probably ordered at the behest of some American service anyway

I love how every negative thing even other governments do is all our fault. I guess GCHQ is full of retards who can't wipe their ass without being told to by America. What a crock of shit.

There may be connections and there may have been discussion between GCHQ and NSA as we are allies but I'm tired of hearing how we're assholes for things that other people do. If our government agencies can order your government agencies around, you might as well call yourselves Americans, too.

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44906795)

2. Economic espionage is illegal.

Economic espionage is not illegal for GCHQ. See the Intelligence Services Act 1994 section 3(2)(b) [legislation.gov.uk] where "the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom" is listed as an explicit goal for GCHQ.

Re:So we've learned... (1)

Njovich (553857) | about 7 months ago | (#44903571)

And how exactly do you know that all governments do this? That the British are in the same boat as the Americans has long been suspected. I don't see the Belgians mass monitoring Verizon calls in the US, do you?

Re:So we've learned... (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 7 months ago | (#44903857)

I don't see the Belgians mass monitoring Verizon calls in the US, do you?

It's all a matter of capability, not interest.

Re:So we've learned... (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 7 months ago | (#44903973)

...that all governments spy on all other governments, regardless of the state of cordiality between those nations.

Belgacom is a government?

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44904603)

Belgacom is a government?

Belgacom is owned 53.51% be the Belgian state. So no, it's not a government, but it is owned by one.

Brussels is also the home for the NATO HQ, the European Commission, and the European Parliament. Many staffers from many nations will be using mobile connections on the Belgacom network.

Re:So we've learned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44905067)

I've learned that governments treat the Internet as a lawless no-man's-land. Fine. Just don't come and try to shove any Copyright laws down my throat when I pirate the hell out of everyone.

GCHQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902593)

Proving Nigel Farage wrong! Belgium really is relevant!

Well, NATO is based in Belgium, so... (0)

sandbagger (654585) | about 7 months ago | (#44902599)

Truthfully, if any hub of communication on the continent was going to exploited and counter-expoited, it would be the trunks and infrastructure running into and out of Belgium. SHAEF is there and lots of other stuff. I wonder what will be unearthed about the Russians in Belgium?

Re:Well, NATO is based in Belgium, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902819)

NATO, you think, would use Belgacom? No.

Re:Well, NATO is based in Belgium, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903179)

NATO, you think, would use Belgacom? No.

Indeed: Belgian military communications is "Bemilcom", which is not related to Belgacom in any way.

Re:Well, NATO is based in Belgium, so... (1)

karmac0ma (1111641) | about 7 months ago | (#44903531)

Maybe, but how about the European Union and European Commission? Even if those (or NATO) use their own comms system, many employees will have personal phones.

Re:Well, NATO is based in Belgium, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903933)

They're going after the Belgacom network. Not bycatch, not NATO/EU/UN or anyone else they ALSO bug/decrypt/MITMA. It's targeted.

Foreign office tapped to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903631)

Not just Nato, EU is based in Belgium, all those smartphones owned by EU politicians tapped, all the secrets of their visiting family members, all that political leverage. Since Belgacom is a big roaming provider, all the *visiting* politicians would also be tapped too while in Belgium. So UK politicians visiting the EU Parliament with their smartphones, all the German politicians visiting the EU Commission.

In related news, the Belgium Foreign office was tapped:

http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/News/130919_hacking

"public prosecutors are investigating a break-in into the computer network employed by the Belgian Foreign Ministry."
"The news that malware was discovered on computer systems operated by the Belgian Foreign Ministry has been confirmed by an official.
"The discovery of the malware was made at the end of 2011. Joren Vandeweyer: "The computer programme was not designed to cause any damage, but rather to copy data."
"We immediately changed our security system and contacted the Defence Ministry and informed the Prime Minister."
"The public prosecutor’s office is now investigating whether the American intelligence service NSA is behind the hacking."

I notice below people are saying NATO comms doesn't use Belgacom, which is false and misleading. All the Generals have their phones, all those smartphones roam through Belgium's telecoms infrastructure.

Re:Foreign office tapped to (1)

alberto_moro (3140643) | about 7 months ago | (#44905953)

It's unfixable. Because "fixing" would mean to develop a Belgian, serious IT security capability and probably dumping MS Windows.

That's expensive and will infuriate American Money. So this will never happen.

Re:Foreign office tapped to (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 7 months ago | (#44906547)

Belgacom also services N. Africa and parts of the middle east, not just Belgium itself and people roaming in Belgium. So the network is a juicy target for anyone wanting to indiscriminately sift through calls to/from these areas as well as those in Belgium itself.

This was probly at the request of (1, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#44902607)

This was probly at the request of Nigel Farage, given his opinion [youtube.com] on Belgium and attempts to "..be the quiet assassin of European democracy and of European nation states. [theguardian.com]".

Re:This was probly at the request of (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#44903481)

If something could end the EU is this kind of actions from UK, how you continue in something based on mutual trust when that trust is not deserved? This century Axis of evil has changed actors, but once again are a few countries (some of them inside Europe, some of them outside) vs the rest of the world, just wait for their next moves if you are still not doped enough.

Re:This was probly at the request of (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 7 months ago | (#44906659)

If something could end the EU is this kind of actions from UK, how you continue in something based on mutual trust when that trust is not deserved? This century Axis of evil has changed actors, but once again are a few countries (some of them inside Europe, some of them outside) vs the rest of the world, just wait for their next moves if you are still not doped enough.

What many people forget is that you can have more than two axes. Along with the Axis of Evil, we've now got the Axis of Fascists, the Axis of Slime, and the Axis of "not as bad as them".

In other news, China must be laughing, as they don't have to even nudge anything to let all this take place and have everything fall into their lap. Doesn't mean they're not positioning themselves favourably though.

Long term plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902623)

It seems reasonable to suspect the internet was designed exactly for this purpose. That Al Gore is a sneaky one.

Re:Long term plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44904613)

Liberal scum!!

Consequences? (4, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | about 7 months ago | (#44902645)

Any chance the GCHQ people will do time in Belgian jails?

Any chance the U.K. will get an astronomical fine?

Re:Consequences? (2)

lordholm (649770) | about 7 months ago | (#44902705)

Good question, wonder what happens if the Belgian police issues an EAW, does the GCHQ operators have immunity for their crimes in the UK? Does the EAW apply in this case; in my mind it should, it would put some needed control over this crap.

Re:Consequences? (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 7 months ago | (#44902985)

Good question, wonder what happens if the Belgian police issues an EAW, does the GCHQ operators have immunity for their crimes in the UK? Does the EAW apply in this case; in my mind it should, it would put some needed control over this crap.

I would think that as long as they violated a law in Belgium that meets the EAW requirements and there is probable cause they could issue one. I'm not an expert in European law, but it seems like part of the deal in becoming a part of the EU is that you lose your sovereignty to protect your spies who are breaking laws in other member nations. One would think that in joining an alliance like the EU that you're supposed to stop treating other member states like enemies. If they needed to tap a cell phone in Belgium for a legitimate purpose one would think that the EU would have a mechanism for asking the Belgian authorities to do so.

Maybe if the GCHQ workers were recognized as diplomats by Belgium then they'd be safe via their immunity.

Re:Consequences? (1)

pesho (843750) | about 7 months ago | (#44903541)

That's really bizarre. If GCHQ wanted to listen to any communication in an EU country all they needed to do is come up with a somewhat plausible reason and simply ask for access. It is beyond me why would they risk exposing their employees for two pages worth of paperwork. Well, unless they were actually spying on their allies, that is.

Re:Consequences? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#44903815)

...it's pretty damn hard to come up with plausible reason to listen to politicians of all EU countries.

Re:Consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44905345)

EAW is only meant for extraditing "trouble makers" on trumped up charges.

Re:Consequences? (1)

GNious (953874) | about 7 months ago | (#44903477)

What I'm curious about is whether the recent treaties and agreements about electronic warfare covers this as an act of war, and whether Belgium can request NATO and US support in said war with the UK...

Re:Consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44906569)

Nope, no change.

But I believe it's time to throw the U.K. out of the European Union. The U.K. is demanding party itself I believe.
Their citizens and their politicians are disrespectfull entering European soil and even thier government agancies.
They don't believe in it and this story shows you can't hardly trust them. This doesn't look like the action of a so called friendly country.

This is more like an ancient imperium trying to keep the uperhand.

Times are changing.

Re:Consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44906733)

Any chance the GCHQ people will do time in Belgian jails?

European Arrest Warrant certainly thinks so.

HEY! WATCH THE POTTYMOUTH! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902663)

I know that on teh intarwebs anything goes, but can you please stop saying B*lg**m ?!! That's really offensive.

Snowden fatigue (-1, Troll)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#44902699)

They're gonna have to come up with better stuff that this if they want to keep the ratings/ad rates up

Re:Snowden fatigue (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#44906675)

What fucking troll? And it's very much the topic. People are just going to lose interest until they hear or see something they didn't already suspect. And besides, this will have little to no effect on the next set of elections. You're still going to see nothing but republicans and democrats in power. And they sure don't care what the EU thinks. Their politicians are on board anyway. This is going nowhere fast. "Where's the beef?" What's going to be done about it? A big fat nothing, what's what. And certainly not anything with the current set of bums in office. Just a lot of chatter and nothing else.

Such attacks should be anticipated (1)

guanxi (216397) | about 7 months ago | (#44902759)

The rule of security is: Make it more expensive for the attacker than it's worth to them.

How much is it worth to spy agencies to have root access to telecom providers? Quite a bit, is my amateur guess. The telecom providers (and ISPs, etc.) should anticipate attacks proportional to the value, and implement security proportional to the anticipated attacks. (But do they really have a chance of holding off the NSA, GCHQ, etc.? Perhaps their own national intelligence agency could help, if their citizens can trust them).

How much would it be worth to attackers to access Barack Obama's phone? A general in the military? Warren Buffet? Depending on who you are, the answer ranges from billions to life-and-death (e.g., an enemy in war's survival might depend on access to a U.S. military general's communications). With stakes so high, can such things really be secured?

Re:Such attacks should be anticipated (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 7 months ago | (#44902983)

The corollary is that securing your infrastructure isn't worthwhile if it's more expensive to do so than the value of ensuring your infrastructure isn't compromised. There's no sense in buying a $500 safe to protect a $20 tool.

Re:Such attacks should be anticipated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903437)

There is if it is subsequently used to beat you to death.

Re:Such attacks should be anticipated (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#44903671)

NSA (& associates) made that equation worthless when started to require to manufacturers to insert backdoors and timebombs into their products and spread privileged access over too much people [salon.com].

So a single person or a group of them (either being insider, or finding how to access those backdoors deployed everywhere) with the right motivation can access most of world's critical information, including US one, and Snowden is a proof of that, the one that decided to go public, for good. What you don't know is how many in the past, present or future will abuse that privilege, or just will make a security mistake giving access to that information to the wrong people.

Sounds like Revenge... (3, Insightful)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 7 months ago | (#44902785)

I could be way off base, but I bet this particular type of information was sought out from the leaks by Greenwald to dissuade GCHQ from behaving the way it did again...

Re:Sounds like Revenge... (3, Interesting)

fsagx (1936954) | about 7 months ago | (#44902927)

In response to the detention of Miranda, he said something along those lines:

the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/david-miranda-detained-uk-nsa [theguardian.com]

fa1lz0rs!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902913)

to ndeliver what,

Dear GCHQ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902935)

Fuck You

Yours Sincerely a British Citizen

Re:Dear GCHQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903037)

Where is the time when British people knew how to use avoid using indecent language...

Re:Dear GCHQ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903225)

Dear Anonymous Coward,
We, being the fine people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, wish to inform you that we have retained our ability to avoid the use of foul language. We also wish to inform you that your assumption that it has gone belies a spectacular lack of awareness on your part. So much so that I would wager my pet parrot against you in matters of general knowledge. Which is saying a lot, because my pet parrot died last week.
Sincerely,
A loyal subject of Her Majesty The Queen.

P.S., Fuck you, arsehole.

GRX Router? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902965)

Could someone explain to a non-networking person what exactly a GRX router is?

How do we know this stuff is real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44902999)

What proof do we have of the authenticity of what Snowden is leaking? It could all or mostly be bullshit. In any good psyop you need a small element of truth to add authenticity to the bulk of propaganda. He needs to survive somehow so how do we no that this seemingly endless supply of highly classified documents are not fabricated? There is certainly financial motivation on his part, the Globe and other news outlets to keep the story going.

Re:How do we know this stuff is real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903219)

What proof do we have of the authenticity of what Snowden is leaking?

Yeah: if you can't shoot the messager, you can at least discredit him.

Re:How do we know this stuff is real? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903313)

So you think the US charged Snowden with theft of government property, and two espionage offenses of disseminating classified material to someone without a security clearance, and revealing signals intelligence as part of "psyop" operation? Pray tell, I'm intrigued with this theory. Could you elaborate on who the operation is targeting, and what its ultimate goal is? What outcome of this operation would constitute a successful mission?

Re:How do we know this stuff is real? (1)

alberto_moro (3140643) | about 7 months ago | (#44906033)

It's about the German election and the Euro. The NSA/GCHQ thing is a "diversionary fire" so that the Euro-crimes are not in the public conscience.

Re:How do we know this stuff is real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44906549)

He gave up a $200k per year job and a supermodel girlfriend to blow the whistle, in what possible way has he personally profited? Where is this "financial motication" you speak of, fool?

This is slashdot. Sell your brain-dead ideas to the Fox News crowd, they may be stupid enough to believe your horse shit, fool. Now go away, Mr. Clapper.

We already know (2)

randomErr (172078) | about 7 months ago | (#44903019)

We already know that something between 1984 and the NAZI regime was being built. Snowden just brought it to everyone's attention.

The best thing we can do is either unplug all together or create custom P2P networks that breaks from the standard networks. We need to use disruptive technologies like CB, Zigbee, enhanced versions GPG, faxs, face to face communication, hell even FIDOnet would offer a level of privacy you usually can't get today.

Re:We already know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903545)

Don't forget that it was also revealed that even 'secure fax machines' bought by some big government organisations were found to have back doors (EU ? UN? something like that).

So you sure about going back to fax?

Re:We already know (1)

alberto_moro (3140643) | about 7 months ago | (#44906085)

You can use ANY machine securely with your self-made One-Time-Pad. It just requires less laziness than you currently display.

You can turn off your phone ANY time. You can leave your WLAN open and if everybody does it, they will have a hard time to perform traffic analysis.

Finally, you can use a watch and meet people in meat space at a certain time and certain place.

Re:We already know (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#44904535)

Oh, if only "store and forward" weren't specifically outlawed by the FCC... Then you could buy an ISP device once, and never pay anything more than maintenance and electricity to join the encrypted mesh network. Instead we only allow corporations to do this, and charge by the bit. Wireless Plans, indeed.

Colocation? Bandwidth Problems? Hack because IPv4/6 lacks automatic caching of store and forward... And TCP is dumb.

yeah, yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44903125)

Getting rather sick of just overview articles that tell what intelligence agencies are doing, but doesn't explain HOW they are doing it, or everything that they are doing with the collected data. Basically, the journalists have now become the gatekeepers of information deciding what the affected masses should see. Give us (tech community) specific details on who/what has been compromised so that mitigation can take place while we wait for legal and political solutions (if they ever come) to address the criminality and policies of these organizations. The journalists are already on the hook if governments decided to prosecute them for disseminating classified material to individuals without security clearances, so what difference does it make if they release a some details about specific OS vulnerabilities implanted by developers cooperating with, or even paid by the NSA, et al.

Major source of driveby downloads (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 7 months ago | (#44903261)

"It appears to be a method with which the person being targeted, without their knowledge, is redirected to websites that then plant malware on their computers that can then manipulate them."
So that's who keeps doing that. And I was blaming flash gaming sites that my mother-in-law goes to.

"willing to penetrate" (1)

OrugTor (1114089) | about 7 months ago | (#44903677)

Well, I am "willing to penetrate" certain young female celebrities. Doesn't mean I did. Doesn't even mean would. Certainly won't get the opprtunity.

Ok so is anyone else getting suspicious? (0)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 7 months ago | (#44904031)

Not of the NSA (I mean seriously, you weren't already?) but of these leaks? I am starting to have doubts that this one contractor had access to all this varied data, about various programs, and now even about non-American agencies.

I am seriously starting to wonder if he, or others, are making up some shit for their own ends. I just have trouble buying that he has all this disparate data, on all this stuff, particularly given the compartmentalization of highly classified data.

Re:Ok so is anyone else getting suspicious? (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 7 months ago | (#44904355)

Yes, I believe he does. This is based on the extreme reaction by those from whom the data was taken.

Re:Ok so is anyone else getting suspicious? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 7 months ago | (#44904557)

I'm quite sure his original stuff about the NSA's prism program is accurate. It is some of the later stuff I'm questioning. I don't doubt that he had access to classified data, and it certainly seem like it is at least somewhat, if not completely, accurate given the reaction. But then there keeps being more and more leaks that are less and less related, which do not seem to be generating much reaction.

It is just causing me to wonder on their veracity.

Re:Ok so is anyone else getting suspicious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44905805)

The powers that be are not denying the reports anymore.
The UK is trying to sweep it under the carpet.
The big companies initially denied the reports but changed their tune. Now it's all "badly managed".
Good enough to almost start a war to create a diversion.
Good enough for Brasil to cancel official visits and for BRICS to start planning a completely new communications infrastucture to bypass the US. (Is last week and this week Recent Enough?)

If it were bogus, they'd just produce counter-evidence, not smear, diversion and panicked Presidents, Prime MInisters and Secretaries of State.

Re:Ok so is anyone else getting suspicious? (1)

alberto_moro (3140643) | about 7 months ago | (#44906137)

What if the Snownden thing IS the DIVERSION ? They have plenty of things they don't want in the public conscience. The Euro, the dollar, public debt spiralling...

I consider the Syria war a diversion, too. France is in deep economic shit, so they clamour for a new war. Then, there's an election in Germany this weekend.

Re:Ok so is anyone else getting suspicious? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#44904633)

Let me just clear up all your lack of access concerns: Omivore / Carnivore ran on Unix, it was ported to MS Windows when they made ECHELON, thus Windows is the platform PRISM runs on too.

The only thing suspicious about the reports is that the Chinese hackers who bust up all the SCADA and Windows-Ran Energy grid aren't corroborating the reports... You credit the NSA too highly. Where do you think they higher hackers from? That same group that makes a game out of getting root on Windows and other OSs? So, you're suspicious of the REPORTS, that the least secure operating system in the world, which is regularly exploited so much that a black-market full of exploits exists for, could possibly grant an unprivileged user access to information they shouldn't have had access to?

Personally, with that kind of thinking, I'm more suspicious of YOU.

Brussels: location of EU headquarters (2)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about 7 months ago | (#44904363)

If you want to know more what each party is discussing with their national governments, can't think of a better place than hacking Belgian telecom.

This is why they did it.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...